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Rambo, Receivers Catching On

Rambo, Receivers Catching On

by Camron Ghorbi

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — As far as explosive offenses go, Miami wide receiver Charleston Rambo has seen his fair share.

Rambo did, after all, start the 2019 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl – a College Football Playoff semifinal game for a Oklahoma Sooners team that averaged 537.6 yards per game that season.

Rambo started 14 games for that Sooners group, hauling in 43 passes for 743 yards and five touchdowns for the Big 12 champions in the most productive season of his college career.

So when he’s asked about Miami’s potential on offense in his first year as a Hurricane, it’s clear the redshirt junior is well-versed on the topic.

“Based off the most recent scrimmage we had, we’re all playmakers on this side. Left and right side, we’re making plays, as outside receivers,” Rambo said. “I’m not going to say one offense is better than another, but we’ve got some guys here who are going to make plays.”

Rambo showcased his own playmaking ability in Miami’s most recent scrimmage, finishing with seven catches for 107 yards and a touchdown that came on a trick-play connection with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.

Wide receivers coach Rob Likens said that after nine or so practices in the spring, Rambo had started to demonstrate the type of ability that had coaches excited about his addition for 2021.

“I tell him, ‘Trust in the process, man.’ You’re starting to meet the standard of the work ethic that the other players have put into play,” Likens said. “I think he’s going to get a lot better and going to grow, especially over the summer when he gets a chance to throw with D’Eriq [King] and all those guys.”

Rambo, a native of Cedar Hill, Texas, has worked hard since arriving to in Coral Gables as a transfer in January, and said Miami’s second scrimmage was evidence of things starting to click.

"Working different routes after practice, before workouts, after workouts, anything to get us better, pays…being in the scrimmage, being on the same page, making all the catches.”

-Charleston Rambo

Rambo’s transition to Miami may have been similar to what the Hurricanes’ quartet of true freshmen – Michael Redding III, Xavier Restrepo, Keyshawn Smith and Dazalin Worsham – experienced in 2020.

“One of the things about coaching, we are so detail-oriented and sometimes when a new kid comes into the program, they can feel a little suffocated with all of the details they’re getting coached and taught,” Likens said. “We coach these guys with extremely great detail.”

In addition to Rambo, veteran Dee Wiggins said that every wide receiver is fighting to earn reps in practice, and he is impressed with the efforts of the freshmen finishing their first full spring.

“Since those guys first came in, they were all in,” Wiggins said. “They didn’t talk back or anything like that. They looked up to us to see how we were working. They’re on our tails. They’re playing as if they’re starting. I watch them develop. They grow every day, all the freshmen that came in grow every day. They work hard every day.”

Rambo isn’t the only wide receiver enjoying a strong spring. Wiggins had five catches for 63 yards with a pair of scores in Miami’s second scrimmage, while Restrepo finished with nine catches for 144 yards and two scores in UM’s first scrimmage.

“It’s more competition in the receiver room,” Wiggins said. “We’re working harder, we’re pushing harder every day. We’re learning something new every day in practice. Every time we watch film, Coach [Likens] gets us on the little stuff, the little details that are going to push us to the next level.”

In its first year under the direction of coordinator Rhett Lashlee, Miami’s offense jumped to No. 32 nationwide in total offense (from No. 98), No. 29 in passing offense (from No. 52), No. 26 in scoring offense (from No. 90) and No. 17 in red zone offense (from No. 122).

Miami’s top trio at wide receiver last season – comprised of senior Mike Harley and juniors Mark Pope and Wiggins – combined for 121 catches, 1,560 yards and 12 touchdowns.

In Rambo, the Hurricanes have added a 6-foot-1 speedster who has totaled over 75 catches and 1,100 yards in his collegiate career.

“Coming here, being here, it’s a lot different,” Rambo said. “I see a lot more man than zone. I’m working a lot of routes going against man [coverage], press [coverage]…just coming here, competitive, being competitive, going against [defensive backs] that are obviously not trying to get beat. They’re going to come with an edge every day.”

Rambo, who has played in two of the last three editions of the College Football Playoff, said he is excited to add to his new meeting room.

“In the beginning, when I got here, there were a lot of things that in the receiving room that we didn’t do that we’re doing now,” he said. “We’re getting better as practices go on. We had two scrimmages and got better in both of them.”

After reviewing film from practices this spring, Rambo cited better route-running and “taking the top off things” as two examples of areas where the wide receiver group has improved through the first 13 spring practices.

And while spring practice wraps up on Sunday, Likens said he is excited for the progression of Rambo and Miami’s other receivers in the summer months ahead.

“I think that’s where the hidden secret is,” Likens said. “It’s the wide receivers and quarterbacks work ethic when they’re by themselves, without the coaches, in the summer… that’s where they develop their great relationships.”